Brienne of Tarth Daniel Portman Interview

Daniel Portman on impressing Brienne, and an upcoming ear biting

After a rocky start, Brienne of Tarth’s new squire, Podrick Payne, continues to impress with his knowledge of Westeros as they carry forward on their journey to find the Stark girls.

In a new interview with Vulture, Daniel Portman talks about that smile Podrick gave when he landed his new job, impressing Brienne, and the upcoming ear biting scene that we’ve heard about from Gwendoline Christie.

The expression you gave when Pod learned he was going on the road with Brienne was priceless.
[Laughs] Yeah. People seem to have reacted quite well to that. That was a funny little exchange, a nice, sweet little exchange to start us off. He’s a very enthusiastic young man, Podrick.

But that’s not what impressed Brienne. Killing a man, however …
The fact that it was in conflict, that’s probably to his benefit. It’s very daunting for Pod to be on the road with her, and she probably feels like he’s extra weight and completely unnecessary. But Podrick’s learned a lot of things in the service of Tyrion and he’s not entirely useless. He has access to a lot of knowledge about the outside world despite not having any experience of it. He knows about what’s going on outside of King’s Landing or over at the Wall. And at the end of the day, Brienne is going off on a serious mission to find somebody. And while their exchanges might be quite funny, she’s very determined, even if Pod is just being dragged along the way. Pod was originally given to Tyrion by Tywin as a joke, almost. A useless squire given to his dwarf son that he’s horribly ashamed of, as a sort of cruel joke. But it just so happens that the useless squire isn’t useless!

Gwendoline Christie seems positively gleeful about a scene she has coming up in which she bites off someone’s ear.
I was there for that scene, and at the time, I don’t think it was so funny! It was an incredibly demanding shoot for her, and she did an incredible job with it, and it’s going to be a phenomenal scene. It was incredible to witness — it was so violent. But the joy of it is that we can walk away at the end of the day and talk about this cool stuff we’re getting to do, like biting off somebody’s ear or stabbing a spear through somebody’s head. It’s a nice thing to have on your C.V. in Westeros.

For more from Daniel on his comedic horse back riding, and laughing on set visit Vulture.


Game of Thrones Power Rankings: Mockingbird by winteriscoming


  • The rest of his interview is interesting. In real life, it seems like he is definitely not Podrick Payne… because, damn he can joke around with Peter Dinklage and Bronn’s actor. Also Gleeson mentioned how Daniel used to play backgammon with Dame Diana Rigg in the set. How much should I pay to see more behind the scene stuffs? Also his chemistry with Gwendoline Christie has been fantastic so far. And since Gwendoline teased us about the ear-biting, I’ve been wondering whose ear? (even as book readers, especially after what happened in latest episode.

  • jentario,

    I’m actually really curious about how they’re gonna play Lysa’s death so that LS doesn’t get the blame.

  • I love pod and brienne! I’m so glad that the show runners are taking their time to build the rapport between the characters, and we get to see Pod sloowly gain Brienne’s respect. Having read the Dunk and Egg tails now, their relationship is SO similar to the knight – squire relationship portrayed there. Ie you’re one of those who were bored by Brienne’s stuff in AFFC (like I was), I’d really recommend checking out D&E! The echos to the past make it much more interesting.

  • Talking of LS, I was really expecting for Brienne and Pod to see people hanged in the last episode. I hope we’ll see more proof of LS before ep 10.

  • Balerion The Cat,



    I’m curious too! Blaming Robin occurred to me too but I don’t think they’d do that either…even though he’s a kid, they wouldn’t trust him to be Lord of the Vale after that, would they? Then again, everyone let Joffrey, a known sadist be King, so why couldn’t Robin being a crazy, murderous boy be a Lord? The preview shows Sansa telling the Lords of the Vale that LF lied but I’m sure it’s all part of LF’s plan…he’s told her what to say (just like in the books). The only mystery is what “story” will they make up? Could they claim suicide or an accident?

  • Can’t they just continue the next episode panning out to see someone…(marillion?) having watched what Petyr has done…and they blame him?

  • Ludo:
    Amory Lorch was killed by Jaqen in season 2.

    Ah, that’s right. I’ve looked over the minor characters cast in the show and can’t find anyone whom Brienne might fight, except the Brotherhood Without Banners. I guess Thoros or Beric then. Or maybe one of the Freys.

    It’s a shame more of Brienne’s book storyline wasn’t included so we can meet the Mad Mouse, Nimble Dick, and more importantly Randall Tarly.

  • Lady:
    Can’t they just continue the next episode panning out to see someone…(marillion?) having watched what Petyr has done…and they blame him?

    That would be awful. That would be lampooned by everyone forever.

  • Holy sweet mother of Jesus so much teasing LS has to happen or this season has been one big troll. They mention Cat every episode…

  • I wonder whose ear Brienne will sink her teeth in :D

    Norma Desmond: They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who’ve we got now? Some nobodies! Only Mads Mikkelsen as Euron can save us!

  • Portman probably is getting upgraded to main next season, right? Even if he’s not in next season a whole lot.

  • Veltigar,

    Maybe it will be the hounds ear. Maybe they can start a thing where in every episode, a different character takes a bite out of the hound.

  • spacechampion,


    I do seriously like Nimble Dick though and will miss him if he’s cut. We’re good dragon men up Crackclaw way.

  • Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I’m sure it is part of his plan, too. LF has a plan for everything. An accident is perfectly logical. Suicide seems like less of an explanation considering how eager – and happy – Lysa was to marry LF. As suggested above, maybe LF will pin it on Robin and point out that he is “troubled young man.” This can be his first step in trying to eliminate him as the Arryn heir.

    I was hoping for a lively discussion about whose ear she bites. Someone in the BWB?

  • It’s very doubtful that Lady Stoneheart isn’t happening this season IMO. Why else would they get in a fight? The only other possibility is a very large deviation of the books. Which is possible but I don’t think they’re gonna make something non-canon into an end-season moment. The start and end of each narrative is (almost?) always canon.

  • Veltigar,

    I think that Brienne will bite the Hounds ear off, since the Locke is no more and Biter is already dead.

  • Darkstar,

    That possibility did just occur to me but I find it doubtful. The Hound would never let Brienne walk away alive(especially after biting off his ear) and she’s still alive in ADWD. In all likelihood, The Hound is going the way of the Great Khal and is dying fo Chekhov’s Infection.

  • Felt Pelt:
    The Ghost of Nymeria, of House Shaggydog, Breaker of Summer & Lady of the Grey Wind,

    It’s also possible the Hound, Arya, Brienne and Podrick will all converge on the Bloody Gate at the same time, and in trying to enter the Vale the Hound will be hurt further.

    Yep, and Arya will hit it for Braavos and the Hound will be left for dead because of his TWO horrible infected bite wounds, but will still be GRAVEDIGGER I have not worked out yet what will happen with Brienne and Pod

  • I keep thinking Brienne and Podrick will meet up with Some Freys and then BWB soon follow and then ties some things together. LS needs to hang someone that viewers are familar with so maybe one of the guys that cut CS throat or stabbed Talisa?

  • Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I was confused about the significance of the crossroads. I was also thinking that I missed the road signs. Presumably she and Pod went east…so towards the Eyrie?

  • mariamb:
    Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    I was confused about the significance of the crossroads. I was also thinking that I missed the road signs. Presumably she and Pod went east…so towards the Eyrie?

    Well, they turned right at the Crossroad, so that would be East-Northeast. To the Eryie, I would say, the same place that Arya and the Hound are headed

  • spacechampion,

    That’s for the better, Brienne’s AFFC chapters were god awful and one of the main reason that book stunk so much, although i’m sure some book fanboys are going to jump at my throat for saying that .

  • Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Just making an informed assumption. They headed North from KL towards the Wall. So if you are going North and turn right at a fork, you have turned East Northeast.

    I could be wrong, but that is what I think.

  • Mrs. D. Ranged in AZ,

    Yeah, I thought it was pretty obvious BriPod were heading to the Vale.

    I’d also point out that in the books the Hound loses an ear in the altercation at the Inn. The only reason Brienne would have to bite someone’s ear off is if she loses her sword in a fight, but if the Hound is already feverous from the bite wound on his neck I can see Brienne getting the drop on him. Perhaps she just doesn’t bother finishing him off and leaves him to die.

  • Darkstar,

    Also thought north-NE was the route they took at the crossroads- to the vale. . I really don’t see Brienne biting the hounds ear off…… Perhaps an altercation with the mountain clans? This could be the same altercation that leaves Sandor in the dirt, and Arya takes off. Perhaps Brienne and Pod have to retreat where they later meet BWB, or are even bailed out by them, before being taken to their leader?

  • my theories for: hound/arya – they’ll arrive at the bloody gate, fight and hound dies in fight. arya finds out that LF is in charge with a niece, so she goes away and finds a ship to bravoos. breinne/pod- they’ll see frey hanging bodys, then the BWB will attack they fight and then comes LS…

  • hm. I presume she’s attacked by bandits, big fight, sort of saved by the Lady Stoneheart crew

  • Darkstar:
    Troublesome Birdsong,

    No, it was Vargo Hoat that lost his ear. The Hound was just horribly wounded in fight with the Tickler and Poliver

    I’m well aware Vargo is the one who gets his ear bitten off by Brienne in the books, but they obviously can’t do that now. Included in the Hound’s wounds from his fight with Tickler and Polliver is a missing ear. Arya has to tend to it. That’s why he has a bandaged head.

    “She trickled the wine down over the raw red flesh where his ear had been, and fingers of brown blood and red wine crept over his jaw.” Chapter 74, Storm of Swords

  • they must keep lady stoneheart or else whats the point of brienne and pod going to look for sansa? it’s a big change and if cut her, jaime,brienne, and pod’s storyline will be screwed.and starks(not sure what happens in the next books)